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Strategic Uses of Data and Analytics Are Not New

For business, the uses of data apply to product innovation, operations and sales/marketing. You may have heard the term "decision support" – and it's already working for you – in most cases quietly and has been doing so for decades. Usually, however, it's working in niche areas in your business and hasn't been pointed at your current big problems, or, it's time to refresh the analytics you are already doing to create a step change advantage. 

Wars get won on the basis of superior use of technology. So does market share.

What decisions should I focus on?

For this there are two lenses. Firstly, what are the key decisions your organisation has to make that you would like to examine to see if data can help? Secondly, what decisions are your competitors already making with data that you need to keep up with?

Focus on the decisions with the biggest impacts. Some will be important because you work out that you are being outplayed by a competitor, some will be big one off decisions where you want every morsel of insight available, but others will be very small decisions you make millions of times in a day – they are micro decisions and they get forgotten.

The competitive lens

At InFact Decisions we developed a diagnostic quiz. It's the first thing we ask new clients to do. Here are a sample of the questions:
- Are your competitors advertising for analysts but you are not – if so where?
- Is your market leader adopting pricing that you can't understand?
- Have you noticed your share of above the line advertising growing but your market share is dropping?
- What % of your technology budget is spend on data analysts versus infrastructure

The decisions – some places to look within your organisation

Businesses are decisions making machines. You might be making the big decisions, the ones about new markets, new products or mergers, acquisitions, divestitures. But while all that is happening, and usually plenty of analytical support is provided for these, there are probably millions of micro decisions being made every day.